What's new

Vintage DE TTO safety razor caution


Eccentric and destitute of reason
I've acquired several vintage TTO/Butterfly type safety razors in recent years and I'm especially a fan of old Gillette razors, however, when it comes to actual shaving experience, I tend to have a little better luck with modern 3-piece razors or even the old Gillette Tech's. On close examination of my vintage Gillette TTO razors I notice slightly crooked & misaligned safety bars and silo doors, even though the doors seem to open and close fine and the adjustable dial twists smoothly and clicks positively. Outwardly, the razors generally present pretty nice, even though they are 'user grade' condition.

My conclusion is that since these old TTO (and adjustable) razors are obviously used when I get them, that previous owners have likely dropped or bumped the razors and knocked the mechanisms and skin contact pieces out of alignment, thus, impacting the shave performance. I've tried to 'fix' alignment issues myself with very little success, so I guess I'm not skilled enough to pull it off successfully.

I've either had bad luck in acquiring razors that have had especially rough history or else this is a common occurrence among these type razors due to the design of sensitive mechanisms making them less damage resistant. I suspect it's the latter.

Have others experienced this or is it just me?
Last edited:


Eccentric and destitute of reason
It's usually the T-bar not exactly at 90* and a pretty east fix. I've tweaked many over the years.
It takes a lot to bend a safety bar but I hear about guys trying to bend them as a repair. :mad2:
@nemo, Any online tutorials available that explain how to do that? I'm not sure what part is the T-bar.
I have six vintage Gillette Super Speeds, a late 1940's, a '52, '53, '55 Blue Tip, '57 Flare Tip and '60 Flare Tip.
Five of the six are simply outstanding. However, the '57 was problematic from the start. Three shaves in, all of them less than satisfying, I gave it a good look and, sure enough, it's out of alignment. The head seems slightly cocked, one of the bay doors doesn't close completely and it's obvious it's been dropped or in some way compromised. Doggone shame, as it just collects dust but it's not worth having lousy shaves just to say I used it.
Top Bottom